Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Wonderlust and Creativity.

Nyhaven at Sunset. It's iconic
coloured houses.
Over the half-term holidays, we took some time out of our crazy schedules to visit one of our favourite places, Copenhagen.

I never thought it would be one of my favourite places on the planet, but that just goes to show you the dangers of presumption. 

Copenhagen has the most amazing skies - there's a quality to the light that seems almost otherworldly; it's both flat and deep - it's full of shades that bring out the light, and this sense is exacerbated by the amount of almost still, clear water ways that surround Copenhagen. 

Everywhere you look in Copenhagen, there is a sense of the aesthetic - and just like the skies, it's an aesthetic full of contradictions. Design is pared back to lines and form in Danish aesthetic, and yet, much of the settings of this austere, reductive design are highly decorative and demonstrate the love that the Danish have for wild nature. 

The Tivoli Hotel. Amazing skies. 
It is this combination of reductionism and luxuriant cosiness that appeals to my spirit so much - it's both spiritually cleansing and comforting. 

From what I have observed, this philosophy extends to many elements of Danish life and identity. There is a clear desire to design a better way of living; a healthier, more comforting way - a move towards a simpler way of living in order that interesting and futuristic things can be achieved. 

Nature heavily influences
There's a sense that Copenhagen is a futuristic city, maybe even has leanings towards a literary topic / dystopic state; the uniformity of clothing, the civil order, the sense of quiet law, it's own quirky looking currency - (which seems to have no logical scale of cost and value when it comes to products A fruit smoothie costing nearly £10 / $13 and a Danish design candle-stick costing £8 / $11) but far from being a depressing or worryingly oppressive place, there's a sense that somehow, the Danes have just got it  - whatever it is, right. 

There's an understanding of balance - a huge amount of people cycle, and bicycles litter every available space (mostly left unlocked). The food markets, and independent craft shops, and artistic presence is everywhere. Christiania, a section of the city that is one of the worlds few 'Free States' - where an alternative community and way of living has established itself; one outside of the status quo and the constructs of mediocre Western Society. 
The Water and light create magic

And among the grey, the order, the calm, the ernest nature of citizenship, there is this incredible leaning to whimsy, encapsulated by both the amount of street placed interactive artworks, and the Tivoli Gardens, one of the world's oldest amusement parks in the world, dating to 1890, which is smack bang at the heart of their city. The Tivoli Gardens is a truly magical place - a place that transports everybody into a delightful, childlike imagination - and it's achingly pretty; with fairy lights and flora everywhere, and a steampunk aesthetic established before 'Steampunk' was even a thing. 

The waterways of Copenhagen
We love Copenhagen and can't wait to get back. As a family, it feels more like a playground than a city; from the cheesy, dusty, outdated, but completely loveable tourist attraction museums (Ripley's Believe it Or Not, The World Records, The Hans Christian Anderson experience, The Mysterium - a ghost house) to the food markets, the amazing zoo, the aquarium, the canals, the shops, the cafes, the art, the Tivoli Gardens, the whole city is easy.

I would love to spend an extended stay in Copenhagen - I know that if I were to live there for a year, many, many acts of creative expression would take place. It's a city that sings to my heart.

Eating out has become
a thing in Copenhagen
and warm blankets are

Tivoli Gardens making
steampunk epic before
steampunk existed. 

The magic of Tivoli Gardens. 

The Opera House

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